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Bordeaux White Blends

Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy ...

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Sometimes light and crisp, other times rich and creamy, Bordeaux white blends typically consist of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Often, a small amount of Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris is included for added intrigue. This blend was popularized in the Bordeaux region of France (where it also comprises outstanding sweet wines like Sauternes and Barsac), but is often mimicked throughout the New World, particularly in California, Washington and Australia.

In the Glass

Sémillon provides the background to this blend, with a relatively full body and an oily texture. Sauvignon Blanc adds acidity and lots of bright fruit flavor, particularly white grapefruit, lime and freshly cut grass. Used in smaller proportions, Muscadelle can contribute fresh floral notes, while Sauvignon Gris is less aromatic but offers ripe, juicy fruit on the palate. These wines run the gamut from unoaked, refreshing, and easy to drink to serious, complex and barrel-aged. The latter style, usually with a higher percentage of Sémillon, can develop aromas of ginger, chamomile and dried orange peel. The dessert wines produced by these blends, often with the help of "noble rot" called botrytis, can have lush stone fruit and honey characteristics.

Perfect Pairings

Crisp, dry Bordeaux white blends are the perfect accompaniment for raw or lightly cooked seafood, especially shellfish. A more structured, Sémillon-based bottling can stand up to richer fish, chicken, or pork dishes in white sauces. These blends also work well with a variety of vegetables and fresh herbs, like asparagus, peas, basil and tarragon. Sweet dessert wines are traditionally enjoyed with strong blue cheeses, foie gras or fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

Sauternes and Barsac are usually reserved for dessert, but astute sommeliers know that they can be served at any time—before, during or after the meal. Try these sweet wines as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian sausage, poached lobster in beurre blanc sauce or even fried chicken.

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  • Tokara Director's Reserve White 2012 Front Label
    Tokara Director's Reserve White 2012
    Bordeaux White Blends from South Africa
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  • Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Blanc 2012 Front Label
    Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Blanc 2012
    Bordeaux White Blends from Bordeaux, France
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    • Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012 Front Label
      Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012
      Bordeaux White Blends from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
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      • Chateau Bonnet Blanc 2012 Front Label
        Chateau Bonnet Blanc 2012
        Bordeaux White Blends from Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux, France
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        • Plantagenet Hazard Hill Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Front Label
          Plantagenet Hazard Hill Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012
          Bordeaux White Blends from Australia
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